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About Buster Hein

Buster Hein Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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Popcorn Time: Everything you need to know about the Netflix of Torrents

popcorntime

Popcorn Time makes movie piracy easier than watching Netflix. Photo: Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time’s popularity has taken off this year by bringing BitTorrent streaming into the mainstream with a lineup of apps that let users watch nearly any new blockbuster they want for free with just the tap of a finger.

We published a hack that brings the popular Netflix-alternative to iOS 8 users for the first time ever without a jailbreak, but before diving into an endless buffet of the world’s most popular movies and TV shows, you might be wondering just where this magical software came from, and most importantly: can it be trusted?

After being available to the public for more than seven months, many aspects of Popcorn Time are still a mystery – like who’s actually building it – but, here’s everything you need to know about the hot new torrenting service:

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Apple ‘surprised’ by sapphire maker’s bankruptcy

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone's rear-facing iSight camera. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Sapphire is used to protect the iPhone’s rear-facing iSight camera. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s plan to put sapphire glass in everything took a tumble this week when its exclusive supplier GT Advanced Technologies filed for bankruptcy, and according to Apple’s spokesman, they were just as shocked as all of us.

In a statement issued this morning to Reuters, the Apple spokesman Chris Gaither said the company was ‘surprised’ by GT’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but they haven’t given up on its AZ plant yet.

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iPad Air 2 dummy unit reveals upcoming design changes

iPadAir2dummy

iPad Air 2 dummy unit reveals Apple’s plan to ditch the mute switch Photo: Zing

Apple is expected to announce its new iPad lineup at an event next week, but manufacturers in Vietnam have leaked a hands-ons on video of a high-quality iPad Air 2 dummy unit, that reveals all the subtle design tweaks coming to the world’s most popular tablet.

One of the biggest changes is addition of Touch ID as well as the disappearance of the the mute-switch, which has been completely removed from the left side of the iPad Air 2, while the volume buttons are a bit more recessed.

Check out the hands-on video below to see some of the other changes:

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OS X Yosemite GM candidate 2 is now available for developers

OS X Yosemite is almost ready for public release. Photo: Apple

OS X Yosemite is almost ready for public release. Photo: Apple

Apple has seeded a second Gold Master candidate of OS X Yosemite to developers this afternoon, following the release of iOS 8.1 beta 2 earlier this morning.

OS X 10.10 Yosemite GM Candidate 2 is now available in the Mac Dev Center and the Mac App Store to members of Apple’s developer program. Xcode 6.1 GM seed 2 was also released this morning, along with an Apple TV Software beta update.

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This Detroit dude will trade you his house for an iPhone 6

iPhone6forhouse

A Motor City resident would rather own an iPhone 6 than a house. Video still: Fox 2 News

If you’ve always wanted to own a dilapidated bungalow on Detroit’s East Side, but all you have is an iPhone 6, today is your lucky day: A Motor City homeowner is so desperate to get rid of his house that he’ll trade it to you for an iPhone 6.

Just about everything in the brick colonial listed for sale needs to be demolished, but the house does feature a basement, garden and city views from the second-floor balcony. The seller of the house lives overseas, and after failing to sell the home for months, he’d gladly accept the greatest smartphone on Earth as payment for his nearly worthless property.

Take a look of the 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath residence below:

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Facebook reportedly prepping anonymous chat app

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Facebook Messenger. Photo: Facebook

Facebook has drawn criticism for its mandated use of real names on its social network, but to satisfy demands of anonymity – and take on Snapchat – the New York Times reports that the company plans to release a stand-alone app that lets you chat without using your real name.

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Apple seeds iOS 8.1 beta 2 to developers

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Get your iOS 8.1 beta 2 while it’s hot. Photo: Apple

Apple has seeded the second beta of 8.1 to developers today, ahead of its rumored public release later this month. A new beta build of Xcode 6.1 has also been released on the iOS Dev Center, along with Apple TV software beta 2 that includes support for Family Sharing and can be used to test AirPlay and HomeKit in iOS apps.

Apple’s release notes  for iOS 8.1 beta 2 don’t mention the addition of new feature – though Apple Pay was discover in the last build –  but it does list a number of bug fixes.

We’ll let you know what type of new goodies we find once we get it install on our devices. The new beta can be download from the iOS Developer Center or via the direct download links below.

Here are the direct download links:

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For drivers, Siri’s screwups are worse than fiddling with a phone

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Siri’s so distractive, AAA had to make a fourth category for it. Photo: AAA

Three out of four drivers in America believe that using hands-free technology like Siri is a safer way to cruise the highway than fiddling with buttons and knobs, but a surprising study from AAA found that using Siri on the road is actually dangerously distracting.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the distraction levels of a number of hands-free solutions from auto-manufacturers that allow drivers to compose messages, change the radio, and navigate complex menus with voice commands, and found that trying to chat with Siri while driving is more distracting that composing a text.

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Easy iOS 8 hack lets you stream almost any torrent to your iPhone

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Popcorn Time for iOS can now be installed without jailbreaking. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Popcorn Time makes it ridiculously easy to “freely” stream almost any movie you want to your iOS device, but unless you have a jailbroken iOS device, actually getting it on the iPhone 6 is impossible, unless you know of a little loophole that allows you to install the banned app.

Adventurous iPhone owners can finally get Popcorn Time by utilizing the same time-hack loophole that allowed others to install Nintendo game emulators and other apps, no jailbreaking required. Popcorn Time isn’t strictly legal, but that’s not stopping thousands from pirating the app onto their iPhones and iPads by simply rolling back the clock on their device.

Here’s how to get ‘the Netflix of torrents’ on your iPhone right now:

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Clever app turns iPhone 6 charger into hands-free panorama machine

iPhone6tripod

When Tim Cook unveiled the gorgeously curved edges of the iPhone 6, I thought apps that use the iPhone 5/5s’ flat edges to create hands-free 360° panoramic photos and video, would quickly sink into the App Store abyss, but the minds at Cycloramic have created a brilliant work around, and all you need is your iPhone 6 charger.

Cycloramic for iPhone 6 was released on the App Store over weekend and brings with it the power to turn your iPhone charger into a panorama machine by simply laying it facedown on a smooth surface, and delicately wedging your iPhone 6 between its power prongs. Using the iPhone 6’s vibration motor the new Cycloramic app can rotate 360 degrees to capture videos and photos, completely hands-free.

Check it out in action:

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